Diamonds, Gemstones, Gold, Platinum, Pearls. Have it all and Save 30-50% at alle' Fine Jewelry.

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HOW TO BUY A DIAMOND


Diamonds are formed between 75 and 120 miles (120 and 200 kilometers) below the surface of the earth. Made up of pure carbon, which crystallized under intense heat and pressure within the earth, diamonds were delivered to the surface by volcanic eruption.

Throughout history, diamonds have been a symbol of love and adornment. Like the people who wear them, no two diamonds are alike. When shopping for diamond jewelry, considerations of cut, color, clarity and carat weight - known as the "4C's" - will guide you to a diamond's quality and value.

Shape
In addition to the traditional brilliant round, diamonds come in a number of shapes. In fact there are many shapes of diamonds: some of the most popular are: Pear, Square or Princess, Heart, Marquise, Emerald and Oval, just to name a few.


THE 4C's

CARAT WEIGHT
A diamond's weight is the easiest of its characteristics to measure. The word "carat" originates from a natural unit of weight, namely the seed of the "carob" tree. The pods of the carob, or locust tree, contain seeds which are remarkably consistent in weight. These carob seeds were used by the early gem traders to weigh their diamonds. Today, the system has been standardized and one carat was fixed at one-fifth of a gram.

A 1 carat diamond used to equal the weight of a carob seed, but today the carat is a metric weight of 0.2 grams, or 1/42 of a standard ounce. Each carat is divided into 100 points.

Examples: a quarter carat = 25 points, written 0.25 ct.
a half a carat = 50 points, written 0.50 ct.

CLARITY
Most diamonds contain tiny identifying marks called "inclusions." The fewer and smaller the inclusions, the less likely they will interfere with the stone's beauty.

Like a finger print, every diamonds is unique. This could be due to minute traces of other minerals trapped in the diamonds during its formation. The number, color, nature, size and position of any inclusion determines the clarity of a diamonds.

The fewer the inclusions, the rarer it will be graded, and the more light it will reflect, thus making it more valuable. It is rare to find a diamond that has no inclusions, the closer to flawless the diamond is the greater the value. IF through SI encompass 50% of all gem-quality diamonds. The following chart shows the abbreviations and the definitions:

 

CLARITY GRADING SCALE
IFInternally Flawless
VVS1Very, Very Slightly Included
VVS2Very, Very Small Inclusions
VS1Very Slightly Included
VS2Very Small Inclusions
SI1Slightly Included
SI2Small Inclusions
I1Inclusions
I2Noticeable Inclusions
I3Very Noticeable Inclusions

COLOR
Diamonds come in many colors, but the overwhelming majority sold in the jewelry industry range from near colorless to very light yellow or brown. There are even colors called "fancy colors" such as pinks, blue, reds and even greens.

The best color in today. s market for a diamond (unless a fancy color) is the lack of color. It is the diamonds that is totally colorless that allows white light to pass through it, dispersed as rainbows of color.

Most diamonds look colorless, but there are many subtle shade differences and the closer a diamond is to having no color the more valuable it becomes. D through G colors are the most valuable compared to N through Z colors, the least desirable. During the diamond. s formation, in the extreme heat and pressure, traces of elements such as nitrogen and boron could have been incorporated into the diamond. s structure. It is these traces that give color - or lack of it.

The following chart shows the color grading groups broken out by definitions:

COLOR GRADING SCALE
COLORLESSD
E
F
NEAR COLORLESSG
H
I
J
FAINT YELLOWK
L
M
VERY LIGHT YELLOWN
O
P
Q
R
LIGHT YELLOWS
THROUGH
Z

CUT
Many confuse cut with the shape of a diamond. The shape you select such as round, pear, marquise, oval, etc. is a matter of individual taste, and today your choice is only limited by your imagination. Cutting and polishing determines the amount of light reflected. Most round (shape), brilliant (cut) diamonds have 58 carefully angled flat surfaces, called facets.

The way a diamond is cut and polished is very important. It is the precision of the cut that dictates the maximum amount of light the diamond will reflect and refract. The closer a diamond is cut to ideal proportions, the greater will be its brilliance, sparkle and fire.

There are many shapes and sizes of diamonds. Whatever the shape or size, the cut is the only human element. A diamond cut to good proportions will have more value than one that is not. The cut quality directly influences the brilliance and fire that make diamonds uniquely beautiful. In addition, quality of the cut affects the diamond. s beauty in relation to the diamond. s durability and practicality for use in jewelry.

When a diamond is cut too shallow, light escapes before it can be reflected one way. If the cut is too deep, light also escapes through an opposite direction. When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from one facet to another and then dispersed through the top of the stone.

Now that you know more about diamonds and the "4C's", the easier it will be to make your selection in our store. Should you have additional questions and would like to speak with a jeweler, call us Monday - Friday 9.00am-6:00pm (Eastern Time) at (800) 310-4441.



 

ABOUT GEMSTONES AND PEARLS



allé Fine Jewelry will not sell synthetic or lab created gemstones. Most natural colored gemstones are treated or enhanced to intensify color, diminish imperfections or improve durability. The following are examples of the most commonly used and accepted treatments for different types of colored gemstones.

EMERALDS

The oiling of emeralds is an ancient process used to enhance the clarity of the emerald. Oil is applied to the emerald which seeps into the fissures, which reach the stone's surface. Along with improving the clarity, this process may prevent brittleness. Oiling is not permanent and may need to be reapplied every few years. Take care not to hit the stone on hard surfaces as this may chip or crack the emerald due to the natural brittleness of the stone. Special care should be taken when cleaning emeralds. Like all gemstones, be sure to keep emeralds away from caustic household cleaning chemicals.

RUBIES, SAPPHIRES AND OTHER GEMSTONES

Heating is a widely accepted enhancement process used on rubies, sapphires, amber, aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, tanzanite topaz and tourmaline. This treatment improves the transparency and/or color of the gemstone. Since heating is generally permanent, heated stones do not normally require special care. All gemstones should be kept away from caustic household cleaning chemicals.

CLEANING

It is generally best to clean you gemstone jewelry with warm water, mild soap (not detergent) and a soft toothbrush or artist's paintbrush. Be sure to plug the drain to save a dropped jewelry item. Use a toothpick to gently pry dirt from between prongs and under stones. Avoid vigorous scrubbing of oiled stones. Use a light touch with delicate filigree work, or on items with an oxidized finish. Give each piece a thorough rinse, and dry them with an absorbent towel.

PEARLS

CULTURED PEARLS

A cultured pearl is grown by nature with the help of man. This patented process involves the insertion of a "nucleus" into an oyster. The oyster is then carefully nurtured for the desired type of pearl. The quality of cultured pearls varies and is judged by the pearl's luster, surface, shape color and size.

BLACK CULTURED PEARLS

Our black cultured pearls come from Japan and the South Seas. Our Japanese cultured pearls are laser dyed black using the latest laser technology that yields close to perfect matching color consistency.

SOUTH SEAS and TAHITIAN PEARLS

South Seas cultured pearls can come in shades of white, gold and brown as well as black. Sometimes known as Tahitian black cultured pearls are among the largest and most valuable pearls and are found in the Indian and South Pacific oceans. They are typically larger than Japanese pearls, with diameters measuring 9 to 18MM. Their color is acquired from a black-lipped oyster found only in the South Seas. The majority of these pearls are baroque-shaped with the rounder shape being some of the more valuable. The color ranges from silver gray to black, with peacock being the most valuable.

FRESHWATER CULTURED PEARLS

Freshwater cultured pearls are often called Biwa pearls because Lake Biwa (in Japan) was one of the first freshwater culturing areas. Today they are farmed in many areas around the world including some areas in the United States. Only those pearls actually produced in Lake Biwa should be called Biwa pearls. All others are simply Freshwater Cultured Pearls.

CLEANING

Cultured pearls can be cleaned easily by simply wiping them with a soft, dry cloth. If they have been neglected and need a thorough cleaning, wash them in a solution of warm water and mild soap. You can scrub them gently with a make-up brush or an artist's paintbrush. Do Not use a toothbrush as this will scratch a pearl's delicate surface. Be sure to rinse the pearls well.

After washing, lay a cultured pearl necklace on a clean towel to dry. It should not be worn until completely dry. A wet string attracts dirt like a magnet. Once dirt gets into a drill hole, there is no way to remove it without unstringing the beads.

NOTE: Washing weakens the string, and the necklace may break. So, washing should be done perhaps once a year. Your pearl necklace should then be re-strung.



 

ABOUT PLATINUM



Understanding the inherent qualities of Platinum will help when shopping for that perfect Platinum jewelry piece.

During the early years of this century, Platinum was considered the precious metal of choice for discriminating jewelry purchasers. When World War II began, Platinum was declared a strategic metal to be used for military purposes only. During the war, white gold gained popularity to fill the gap left by Platinum's absence. Today, Platinum is regaining its popularity as one of the hottest precious metals on the market.

FACTS:

1. Platinum jewelry is 50 times more rare than gold jewelry.

2. Platinum is pure. It is a hypoallergenic precious metal. One can wear it and not have to worry about an allergic reaction on their skin. They can also wear Platinum if they are allergic to nickel (an alloy frequently used in karat gold) without an allergic reaction to the skin.

3. Platinum is a natural white metal. When Platinum comes out of the ground, it is white. When gold comes out of the ground, it is yellow and must be bleached or dyed white with other metals such as nickel and rhodium in order to create white gold. Platinum will always stay white. It needs no special maintenance over the years to remain that beautiful white color.

4. Platinum is one of the world's strongest metals. It weighs 60% more than karat gold. Just holding it in your hand, you can feel the difference.

5. Platinum is durable. Not only does Platinum feel heavier than gold, prongs are stronger therefore more securely hold precious stones in place and requires less maintenance than karat gold prongs.

6. Look for markings on Platinum jewelry that tell you it is Platinum. Iridplat, 900 Plat or 900 PT are markings which mean that the alloy mix is 10% iridium (a platinum group metal) and 90% pure Platinum. PLAT, 950 Plat or 950 PT are markings which mean a piece of jewelry is 95% pure Platinum and 5% another metal. The other metals are usually ruthenium or iridium (both Platinum group metals).

7. Not everyone can own Platinum jewelry because there simply isn't enough of it in world. For example: all the Platinum ever mined would fit in an average sized living room.

If you are shopping for a different look, try Platinum - nature's most precious of metals.

 

 

 

 

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